Say what you want about software patents, or asserting copyright over an API, etc. But trademark law exists entirely to prevent confusion like this, and I think it's valid. Hosts should be required to loudly disclose that images are modified, or else they should get a licensing deal and have them certified by the trademark holder.
Users think they're installing "Ubuntu", and they aren't. That's not acceptable to me.
That's not advertised at all in their product pages, and it exposes you to a bunch of security issues elsewhere fixed.
The problem is they don't advertise "we ship an insecure kernel by default", and they call those insecure images "Ubuntu".
I think I'm apt-get installing super-foo-blah, but during installation it's actually being patched so is deviating from what upstream are really shipping .
As I understand it, Canonical advocate patching upstream packages (with the noble goal of improving compatibility with their platform) and keeping the package under the same name. Just as OVH et al are doing with Ubuntu itself.
- Ask for the approval of the upstream developer
- Rename the package, as Debian did with Firefox/IceWeasel
The problem with the OVH images is their kernel lacks months of security patches, so they're advertising insecure images as "Ubuntu".
However, this alone isn't necessarily reason to prevent someone from distributing derived versions of your open source project using the original name.
If this was the case, Canonical would prevent people from shipping EOL'd versions of Ubuntu under any circumstances. If I ship an appliance with Ubuntu 10.04 (EOL 2013-05-09), it would have the same negative impact as shipping a patched 16.04 with no up-to-date patches or a similarly unpatchable kernel or core package.
If you don't accept the Debian terms, your package ends up in "nonfree" and I honestly don't know how that is managed downstream.
I agree though on older images going to the control panel/use the API to change the kernel is a big annoyance.
If they were to pay 1-2e/mo to use the trademark legally, wouldn't the confusion still exist? Or is the full story actually that they have to pay _and_ actually offer it as stock Ubuntu?
Unfortunately the only source we currently have is that tweet, which isn't the clearest one.
- OVH modifies the kernel (though users can opt for stock kernel, losing integration into OVH's monitoring infrastructure).
- Scaleway modifies the runtime environment extensively, even on their bare metal servers, to provide integration / deep hooks into their APIs. They seem to be modifying the boot sequence, init system and replace the kernel.
I'm not sure what Canonical's goal is - protecting their brand from uncertified, unknown quality third party extensions? Or simply monetizing?
Either way, they should be careful not to be seen as a bully by the public for this kind of thing - they already have a pretty iffy reputation in the open source world, with their Unity desktop, Mir, upstart, Amazon integration, ... (I realize that most of these have been fixed or dropped - but they're an indication of intent).
Canonical doesn't want someone to release a derivative which is unstable due to modification and call it "Ubuntu 16.04 LTS", therefore potentially resulting in blame being placed on them.
Regardless of personal opinion, it's an interesting situation considering the differing opinions on the separation between brand IP and source code IP.
Or are we talking recompilation of all the packages to remove the phrase 'ubuntu'? The latter would be much more complex. You are getting into CentOS territory with their 'North American Upstream Vendor' then.
My point is that perhaps trade mark/copyright law isn't the best way to encourage vendors to update their products.
My guess is the price is for certifying the images, which also means guaranteeing the kernel has all the security patches in it. That means OVH would be able to customize the kernel to integrate it in their control panel, and the customers would get a secure and not broken Ubuntu image.
The other option is to ship the stock image (and maybe put the integration in a .deb, as another person suggested here), and don't pay anything because you would be OK under the trademark policy.
I wonder however what would happen if they pushed it too hard. Ubuntu has become the "default cloud OS" because of the freedom it granted and the quality it delivered at unbeatable prices. With a price tag attached, it gets less attractive; but what are the alternatives? Blessing a minor or hackier distribution? Fall back on Debian with its slow release cycle, or on Fedora with all its RedHat baggage?
This is plain rude.
This time he tweeted in english just to make some noise.
But the truth is that OVH redistribuites a modified version of ubuntu, abusing of the Ubuntu trademark.
Canonical rightfully wants OVH to either stop using the Ubuntu trademark or pay canonical to certifiy that the OS ovh distribuites is an Ubuntu-grade ubuntu derivative. This is perfectly fine.
If OVH does not want to pay, OVH should just call their ubuntu-based OSes something like "OVH Linux".
BTW, 1-2 Eur/installatio is an insane price, I suspect that Oles is just lying about that pice.
Many US-American companies have customers all-over the world and still only tweet in English.
> Many US-American companies have customers all-over the world and still only tweet in English.
And this is right.
English is the de-facto standard language is business and science.
It doesn't matter if your company is french, american, italian, brazilian or something else: you really SHOULD write/tweet in english, at least to your customers/clients.
@olesovhcom is the founder's semi-personal account where he tweets a lot of company related stuff, but it's not their official channel.
I know lots of companies (for example for mechanical engineering in Germany) where the customers strongly prefer it if they are written to in their native language (in this case German).
No, really: Some companies learnt it the really hard way why they shouldn't try to advertize in English in Germany, see for example this German article: http://www.spiegel.de/unispiegel/wunderbar/denglisch-in-der-... (TLDR: The uneducated classes misundertand the slogans in really funny ways).
That said it doesn't hurt for bonjour to be the first word out of your mouth. It is France and they speak French after all. The same goes for hello in every other language in every other country on earth as well.
source: American who has lived in France.
English is the 2nd language most people in the world knows so that's a natural language to use approaching people whose language you don't know.
English is not my native language. If someone visited my country I would expect them to speak to me in English, not learn my language unless they were going to settle here.
Do you have anything to back that up? Has he publicly lied before, do you know what they charge other hosts, or do you just dislike the guy?
he could use a comm officer who communicates in english and other languages though.
I could see them offering the following options:
* Ubuntu without OVH panel monitoring
* Ubuntu with monitoring (+1€/mo)
* Custom OVH Ubuntu-based distribution with monitoring (same as above but we can't call it "Ubuntu" without charging 1€ per month)
Not sure it would be fair, but that's the kind of thing they could do.
OVH is a huge user of open source, and, as far as I been told by several sources, gives very little back (for instance, they have a no open source contribution policy internally).
But I'd like to see the juridical arguments forbidding any hosting provider to propose a given trademarked distribution on their system.
[T]he unauthorized (...) sale of materially different merchandise violates the Lanham Act because a difference in products bearing the same name confuses consumers and impinges on the local trademark holder’s goodwill.
The truth (IMHO):
OVH changes the ISOs but wants to call it Ubuntu because it's a huge brand.
Canonical smells blood in the water and wants money.
Nobody is an angel here.
This is all in their IP policies: http://www.ubuntu.com/legal/terms-and-policies/intellectual-...
Man, that's just evil. <adds company name to list of businesses never to patronise>
I honestly don't know why someone would run Ubuntu on the server rather than Debian. I did kinda like Ubuntu once upon a time for end-user computing (e.g. laptops & desktops), although eventually I gave up on it because it was too painful to customise. But why use it on a server? There's no need for the proprietary blobs it supports, and it's really not targeted at servers like Debian is.
Having just had this discussion at work, I can give you a few reasons:
* Canonical's ecosystem, including direct support for OpenStack and some homegrown tooling around it like Juju. Also Landscape and MAAS.
* 5 years of support on LTS images
* Ubiquity, specifically the fact that Ubuntu has enough popularity (well beyond Debian's) that most of its issues are well known, and it has broad 3rd party support
* Paid support on the base image (it's not like CentOS/RHEL where you need an entirely different OS to get paid support, you can just buy Ubuntu support)
* PPAs (which is really just some tooling on top of a DEB repo, but it's still useful)
I'm not sure what you mean by "targeted at servers" when http://www.ubuntu.com/download/server exists.
I use Debian on my servers, but one reason I know some companies used Ubuntu was because it had a five year LTS program. Debian only started theirs in 2014, and it's not handled by the main Security Team, which might make some people feel queasy.
I've asked on Twitter if removing the option to have the ovh modified version of Ubuntu will be enough. I always have random bugs when I was using it anyway. And it's pretty hard to debug.